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The New UAE Privacy Law and its Practical Implications

The UAE Government is set to introduce a new data privacy law in early 2022. Watch our video as experts, Ben Crew,  Head of Information Governance, Privacy, and Security MENA at FTI Consulting and Hamed Halawani, Head of Risk Specialists, Middle East, and North Africa at Thomson Reuters discuss these new laws in detail and what the implications are for businesses in the UAE.


The Federal Data Protection Law, due for implementation on January 2, 2022 will be the UAE’s first data privacy law at the federal level and will be complementary to existing data privacy laws. It is expected to fundamentally change how UAE-based organisations manage data, as well as international companies that interact with local organisations.

The new law is designed to protect individual privacy rights and give consumers increased control over their personal data, in-line with international standards. Organisations should be able to answer any questions from a member of the public about the use of their data and demonstrate transparency and sound management to the regulator.

The Federal Data Protection Law is part of a new wave of global regulation that governs data privacy. Data protection and management looks set to become a growing issue for organisations and senior executives are advised to gain an understanding of the requirements of the new law and begin to prepare their systems and processes.

Regulators expect organisations to comply with the new law by September 2022.

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Hamed Halawani, Head of Risk Specialists, Middle East and North Africa, Thomson Reuters 

Hamed Halawani heads up the Risk Sales Specialists for Middle East, Africa and Russia/ CIS at Thomson Reuters within the Risk division based in Dubai. With more than fifteen years of extensive experience in the fields of education, training, governance, risk and compliance under his belt in a variety of roles including sales, project management and consulting.

Hamed is a coveted speaker and presenter in regional and international e-learning events and conferences and a publisher of a number of education related articles. Throughout his tenure, Hamed has been awarded several accolades including Best Risk Specialist from Thomson Reuters.

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Ben Crew, Head of Information Governance, Privacy and Security MENA, FTI Consulting

Ben Crew is a Senior Director in FTI Consulting’s Technology segment and is based in Dubai. Ben leads the Middle East Information Governance Privacy & Security practice and is a renowned expert in information governance and Data Privacy. He is an acknowledged Privacy evangelist, with a focus on the GCC region, and is a regular panelist and speaker on forums and seminars across the region. 

Ben has over 20 years experience working with clients to resolve risks associated with their data and assist clients in managing their data in a more secure and effective manner. He brings a wealth of experience in providing compliance expertise to clients from a range of industries, including financial services firms, hospitality, governmental and technology firms across the region. His diverse experience enables him to solve clients’ most pressing challenges efficiently and effectively.

He has been based in Dubai for over 12 years and has extensive experience working with clients across the Middle East and Africa to address their data compliance needs. He has strong experience in helping clients to respond to new and complex regulatory challenges across multiple jurisdictions.

Prior to FTI, Ben held senior management positions at Group 42, The Entertainer and Jumeirah Group leading their Information Governance and Data Privacy functions. 

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